Test Bed and Setup

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
Intel Core 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10900K
Intel Core i7-10700K
Intel Core i5-10600K
Motherboard ASRock Z490 PG Velocita (P1.30a)
CPU Cooler TRUE Copper (2kg)
DRAM Corsair Vengeance RGB 4x8GB DDR4-2933
Corsair Vengeance RGB 4x8GB DDR4-2666
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G (Gaming Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
SSD Crucial MX500 2TB
OS Windows 10 1909


Please note we are still using our 2019 gaming test suite for CPU reviews with a GTX 1080. We are in the process of rewriting our gaming test suite with some new tests, such as Borderlands and Gears Tactics, as well as changing the settings we test and moving up to an RTX 2080 Ti. It's going to take a while to do regression testing for our gaming suite, so please bear with us.



Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Hardware Providers
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix


Scale Up vs Scale Out: Benefits of Automation

One comment we get every now and again is that automation isn’t the best way of testing – there’s a higher barrier to entry, and it limits the tests that can be done. From our perspective, despite taking a little while to program properly (and get it right), automation means we can do several things:

  1. Guarantee consistent breaks between tests for cooldown to occur, rather than variable cooldown times based on ‘if I’m looking at the screen’
  2. It allows us to simultaneously test several systems at once. I currently run five systems in my office (limited by the number of 4K monitors, and space) which means we can process more hardware at the same time
  3. We can leave tests to run overnight, very useful for a deadline
  4. With a good enough script, tests can be added very easily

Our benchmark suite collates all the results and spits out data as the tests are running to a central storage platform, which I can probe mid-run to update data as it comes through. This also acts as a mental check in case any of the data might be abnormal.

We do have one major limitation, and that rests on the side of our gaming tests. We are running multiple tests through one Steam account, some of which (like GTA) are online only. As Steam only lets one system play on an account at once, our gaming script probes Steam’s own APIs to determine if we are ‘online’ or not, and to run offline tests until the account is free to be logged in on that system. Depending on the number of games we test that absolutely require online mode, it can be a bit of a bottleneck.

Benchmark Suite Updates

As always, we do take requests. It helps us understand the workloads that everyone is running and plan accordingly.

A side note on software packages: we have had requests for tests on software such as ANSYS, or other professional grade software. The downside of testing this software is licensing and scale. Most of these companies do not particularly care about us running tests, and state it’s not part of their goals. Others, like Agisoft, are more than willing to help. If you are involved in these software packages, the best way to see us benchmark them is to reach out. We have special versions of software for some of our tests, and if we can get something that works, and relevant to the audience, then we shouldn’t have too much difficulty adding it to the suite.

Socket, Silicon, Security, Overclocking, Motherboards Core-to-Core Latency: Issues with the Core i5
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  • yankeeDDL - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    I think the main idea was to show if the CPU was getting in the way when teh GPU is definitely not the bottleneck.
  • mrvco - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    That's difficult to discern without all the relevant data.. i.e. diminishing returns as the bottle-neck transitions from the CPU to the GPU at typical resolutions and quality settings. I think better of the typical AnandTech reader, but I would hate to think that someone reads this review and extrapolates 720p / medium quality FPS relative performance to 1440p or 2160p at high or ultra settings and blows their build budget on a $400+ CPU and associated components required to power and cool that CPU with little or no improvement in actual gaming performance.
  • dullard - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    Do we really need this same comment with every CPU review ever? Every single CPU review for years (Decades?) people make that exact same comment. That is why the reviews test several different resolutions already.

    Anandtech did 2 to 4 resolutions with each game. Isn't that enough? Can't you interpolate or extrapolate as needed to whatever specific resolution you use? Or did you miss that there are scroll over graphs of other resolutions in the review.
  • schujj07 - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    “There are two types of people in this world: 1.) Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.”
  • diediealldie - Thursday, May 21, 2020 - link

    LMAO you're genius
  • DrKlahn - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    In some cases they do higher than 1080p and some they don't. I do wish they would include higher resolution in all tests and that the "gaming lead" statements came with the caveat that it's largely only going to be beneficial for those seeking low resolution with very high frame rates. Someone with a 1080p 60Hz monitor likely isn't going to benefit from the Intel platform, nor is someone with a high resolution monitor with eye candy enabled. But the conclusion doesn't really spell that out well for the less educated. And it's certainly not just Anandtech doing this. Seems to be the norm. But you see people parroting "Intel is better for gaming" when in their setup it may not bring any benefit while incurring more cost and being more difficult to cool due to the substantial power use.
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - link

    It's almost like their access is partially contingent on following at least a few of the guidelines about how to position the product. :/
  • mrvco - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    Granted, 720p and 1080p resolutions are highly CPU dependent when using a modern GPU, but I'm not seeing 1440p at high or ultra quality results which is where things do transition to being more GPU dependent and a more realistic real-world scenario for anyone paying up for mid-range to high-end gaming PCs.
  • Meteor2 - Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - link

    Spend as much as you can on the GPU and pair with a $200 CPU. It’s actually pretty simple.
  • yankeeDDL - Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - link

    I have to say that this fared better than I expected.
    I would definitely not buy one, but kudos to Intel.
    Can't imagine what it means to have a 250W CPU + 200W GPU in a PC next to you while you're playing. Must sound like an airplane.

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